One of my favorite things about working in this industry and taking the classes to get my certification is all the interesting articles I get to read and research I get to do. I recently had to do a small presentation on a topic of my choosing, and when I stumbled across this article, I knew I was going to read into it a lot more. I’ve seen the changes in people who are suddenly taking a medication they weren’t before, and I’ve felt the effects first hand that some medications can have on your mind and body. I’ve never felt it was right to medicate someone simply to make them easier to deal with, and reading about the negative effects they can have on an elderly person with dementia, and seeing the prescription rate in facilities I work in (check out the interactive database at the bottom of the article), really upset me. So programs like Ecumen’s Awakenings, really appeal to me. The elderly should be treated with love and respect, and should be given an opportunity to live a high quality life, without the haze of chemical restraints. Behavioral, activity, and sensory therapies have been shown to be more effective than pharmacological therapies, but in a corporate world where profits matter, the fact that facilities are often not reimbursed for the cost of these therapy programs leaves many seniors on a risky prescription.
Changing Treatment to Change Behavior (slideshare)
Changing Treatment to Change Behavior (downloadable powerpoint)
This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs (article from NPR, including interactive database)
Behavioral Therapy Helps More Than Drugs for Dementia Patients (article from NPR)
Ecumen Awakenings (company website)
What activities and alternative therapies have you seen work with residents? Do any of the mentioned therapies work for you and your elders? Let me know what you think: pharmacological or non?